Free agency frenzy: Should the Flyers re-sign Brian Elliott?

Screenshot 2020-09-29 at 17.53.42

In today’s NHL, a team must have reputable goaltenders on a rotation. Deep playoff teams have that on their roster. A lot of the reason why the Philadelphia Flyers were as good as they were during the 2019-2020 regular season was due to Brian Elliott’s performance. When Carter Hart struggled on the road, Elliott held his ground. He’s made a case for a short-term contract extension with the Flyers.

As Brian Elliott ages, the Philadelphia Flyers need to have a backup plan for Carter Hart. Alex Lyon received a one-year extension, but likely will not be the number two to Hart. Also in the Flyers system are Felix Sandstrom and Kirill Ustimenko, who both are still on their entry-level contracts. Philadelphia likely has another year or two before they possibly commit to one of the other goaltenders in their system. If Elliott does not return on a one-year extension, the Flyers have to find a goaltender to flex a two-year bridge at the least.

If Brian Elliott Stays

The Philadelphia Flyers would have signed the most capable veteran goaltender to backup Carter Hart. Brian Elliott is a fantastic mentor for Hart, which cannot be replaced in free agency. At $2mil a season, it would be nice if the Flyers could extend Elliott for a little less. Has he earned his keep of $2mil in 2019-2020? Absolutely, but time isn’t on his side in 2020-2021.

It piqued my attention when Brian Elliott got his start against the New York Islanders in the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs. During that game, Elliott did a great job with rebound control. He took away the puck on pad shots that allowed so many second chances from the Islanders. When searching for quality, especially on the road, Elliott checked every box for the Philadelphia Flyers. His goals-against average improved from the 2018-2019 season, and he collected multiple shutouts for the first time since arriving in Philadelphia.

If Brian Elliott Goes

There are three goaltenders that the Philadelphia Flyers would be able to afford in place of Brian Elliott. Age is a prime factor in this decision. Elliott is 35-years-old, and he’ll turn 36 in the 2020-2021 season. At this stage in his career, it’s tough to argue that Elliott is worth more than a one-year extension at less than $2mil per season.

Available would be Linus Ullmark, Mackenzie Blackwood, and Tristan Jarry as restricted free-agents. My disclaimer here is if the Philadelphia Flyers are unable to make a play at any one of those three goaltenders, then they should extend Brian Elliott to a one-year extension. Ullmark (26), Blackwood (23), and Jarry (25) are multi-year solutions in rotation with Carter Hart if Alex Lyon isn’t NHL ready. They’re also cost-efficient goaltenders who would likely make less than or equal to what the Flyers are paying Elliott.


Brian Elliott will likely return to the Philadelphia Flyers for the 2020-2021 NHL season. Dragging away a restricted free-agent goaltender in their mid-twenties is a tall task. If the Flyers can do so, they shouldn’t hesitate. Elliott is still the best option unrestricted free-agent when speaking of the pool for his value. Next season puts pressure on Philadelphia to figure out a backup plan to compliment Carter Hart because the hourglass has officially turned.